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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #414808

Research Project: Systematics of Beetles, Flies, Moths and Wasps with an Emphasis on Agricultural Pests, Invasive Species, Biological Control Agents, and Food Security

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: New masquerade observations of Turkish leaf beetles (Coleoptera Chrysomelidae)

item Konstantinov, Alexander - Alex
item GULTEKIN, L. - Ataturk University
item GULTEKIN, NESLIHAN - Igdir University
item DOROFEEV, V. - Vl Komarov Botanical Institute Of The Russian Academy Of Sciences

Submitted to: Journal of Insect Biodiversity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/5/2024
Publication Date: 5/9/2024
Citation: Konstantinov, A.S., Gultekin, L., Gultekin, N., Dorofeev, V. 2024. New masquerade observations of Turkish leaf beetles (Coleoptera Chrysomelidae). Journal of Insect Biodiversity. 48 (2):50-60.

Interpretive Summary: Leaf beetles, especially flea beetles, are among the most important insects for U.S. agriculture. Many are serious pests and feed on crops destroying valuable plants costing millions of dollars annually. Others are important biological control agents that can be used to control unwanted and invasive weeds. This work documents observations of a special leaf beetle mimicry in which beetles, while feeding, make holes in leaf surfaces of their host plants, which approximate beetle bodies in size and color. This helps beetles to avoid predators. In addition, interactions of leaf beetles with their potential predators - ants were documented. This study will be useful to biological control workers, taxonomists, ecologists, and anyone interested in plant feeding beetles and their interaction with host plants.

Technical Abstract: Thirty-six observations of 24 leaf beetles species and their feeding damage are reported. The beetles belong to 13 genera. Obvious masquerade is found in 29 observations. Nine beetle species in our sample are light in color, but two, being generally light colored, have a wide dark stripe along elytral suture, so that on the photos (and presumably to visual predators in the field) they appear dark. Feeding damage that these two are surrounded with is also dark. In six observations light colored beetles were making light colored damage. In five examples dark colored beetles were observed among both light and dark colored damage. In remaining observations dark colored beetles were making dark colored damage. Masquerade in Cassidinae and larvae of Alticini and Galerucini is reported here for the first time. In addition, observation of flea beetle interacting with ants on leaf surface and use of feeding holes to move from the upper to the lower leaf surface are reported.